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Bugatti shows off Bolide’s carbon-fiber tub

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Bugatti Bolide Safety

Bugatti Unveils the Carbon-Fiber Monocoque of the Bolide Hypercar

Bugatti, renowned for its exceptional hypercars, is drawing closer to the completion of its track-focused masterpiece, the Bolide. In a recent revelation, Bugatti has shed light on a paramount aspect of the Bolide’s design – its passive safety, achieved through a cutting-edge carbon-fiber monocoque.

In a configuration reminiscent of Formula 1 race cars and several elite performance vehicles for the road, the Bolide incorporates a passenger cell referred to as a monocoque or tub, seamlessly integrating the roll cage and incorporating subframes at both the front and rear.

This monocoque is crafted from the same caliber of carbon fiber that graces the world of motorsports and meticulously adheres to the stringent regulations laid down by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) for top-tier sports prototypes, including LMH and LMDh categories, as Bugatti proudly attests.

What sets the Bolide’s monocoque apart is its exclusivity. Bugatti’s distinctive quad-turbocharged 8.0-liter W-16 engine enjoys a placement approximately 2.3 inches closer to the vehicle’s center compared to the Chiron. This decision to engineer a bespoke monocoque isn’t solely rooted in the Bolide’s lofty track performance aspirations but also in the necessity to fulfill the crash safety requisites unique to race cars – a realm distinct from that of road-going automobiles. Bugatti emphasizes that this clean-sheet approach allowed for zero compromises in design.

One of the most rigorous crash safety evaluations involves rollover tests. In one such test, a force exceeding 16,500 pounds is applied to the A-pillar. To pass this assessment, the maximum deflection must not exceed two inches at the point of load application, with no structural failure permitted. Another demanding rollover test subjects the B-pillar to a force of nearly 26,500 pounds, while a third significant examination simulates a longitudinal load of around 13,200 pounds, replicating a rollover scenario resulting in a rear impact against a barrier.

The key to success in these arduous tests lies in the precise layout and thickness of the monocoque walls, as well as the choice of materials.

Christian Willmann, Chief Engineer for the Bolide at Bugatti, underscores the brand’s unwavering commitment to high-performance and on-track safety attributes, stating, “Since we made the decision to turn the [Bolide concept] into reality, we knew we were going to be uncompromisingly focused on several important design and development areas, but that focus was especially honed in high-performance and safety on-track attributes.”

Remarkably, the production variant of the Bolide closely resembles the concept unveiled in 2020 – a concept initially never intended for production. Divergences from the concept include a more pronounced roof scoop, reduced fins behind the front wheel arches, the introduction of side mirrors, and a revised rear wing featuring an adjustable component. Bugatti’s preference for traditional side mirrors over a more aerodynamically efficient camera system is attributed to the quicker estimation of distances to other vehicles by drivers.

The Bolide boasts additional safety features, including a fire suppression system, six-point harnesses, the HANS (Head and Neck Support) safety system, and headrests that serve as integral structural elements by attaching to the door frames. These headrest brackets, crafted from 3D-printed aluminum, possess remarkable strength, withstanding loads exceeding 1,500 pounds while weighing just over half a pound. Active safety technologies, such as traction control, electronic stability control, and an anti-lock braking system, further enhance the Bolide’s on-track security.

Under the hood, the Bolide houses a tuned W-16 engine, delivering 1,578 horsepower on 98-octane fuel. However, it can be fueled with 110-octane racing fuel, elevating the power output to an astonishing 1,824 horsepower. Given its track-focused nature, all four turbochargers remain in operation at all times. The engine has been engineered to achieve higher revs compared to its road-going Bugatti counterparts and is coupled with an upgraded version of the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission found in the brand’s road cars.

With a dry weight of just under 3,200 pounds, the Bolide is poised to deliver performance on par with the pinnacle of motorsport standards, as declared by Bugatti.

Bugatti plans to produce a limited run of 40 Bolide examples, and despite a price tag of 4 million euros (approximately $4.3 million at current exchange rates), all production slots have been claimed. Deliveries are scheduled to commence in 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Bugatti Bolide Safety

What is the Bolide’s monocoque made of?

The Bolide’s monocoque is crafted from carbon fiber, the same material used in motorsports, meeting FIA regulations for safety.

Why did Bugatti design a unique monocoque for the Bolide?

Bugatti opted for a unique monocoque to achieve both top-tier track performance and meet specific crash safety requirements for race cars, avoiding compromises in design.

What are some demanding rollover tests that the Bolide must pass?

The Bolide must pass rollover tests that apply forces exceeding 16,500 pounds to the A-pillar, nearly 26,500 pounds to the B-pillar, and approximately 13,200 pounds for a simulated rollover with a rear impact.

How closely does the production Bolide resemble the concept?

The production Bolide closely resembles the concept, with some differences, including a more pronounced roof scoop, reduced fins, side mirrors instead of cameras, and a revised rear wing.

What are some of the Bolide’s additional safety features?

The Bolide includes a fire suppression system, six-point harnesses, HANS safety system, and headrests integrated as structural components. It also features active safety technologies like traction control and electronic stability control.

How powerful is the Bolide’s engine, and what fuels can it use?

The Bolide’s W-16 engine delivers 1,578 hp on 98-octane fuel but can reach 1,824 hp on 110-octane racing fuel. All four turbochargers are always active.

What is the expected performance of the Bugatti Bolide?

With a dry weight of just under 3,200 pounds, the Bolide is anticipated to perform at the highest levels of motorsport standards, delivering exceptional track performance.

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RaceFanatic September 12, 2023 - 8:16 am

Over 1,800 horsepower? That’s insane! Bolide’s gonna be a beast on the tarmac!

TechGeek101 September 12, 2023 - 1:43 pm

Mirrors over cameras, interesting move Bugatti. Safety first, even in hypercars!

CarEnthusiast23 September 12, 2023 - 2:34 pm

wow, the Bolide’s monocoque sounds super strong with that carbon fiber stuff. I’d luv to see it on the track!

SpeedyDriver September 12, 2023 - 6:36 pm

Bugatti’s gonna rock the racetrack with this Bolide, no compromises, all power!

LuxuryLover September 12, 2023 - 10:48 pm

4 million euros? Whoa, that’s a small fortune, but it’s Bugatti, so it’s gotta be worth it, right?


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